Editor's Note :

Editor's Note :

The court will release orders from the March 16 conference on Monday at 9:30 a.m. There is a possibility of opinions on Tuesday and Wednesday.
On Monday the court hears oral argument in Sveen v. Melin. Amy Howe has our preview.

Skinner v. Switzer

Docket No. Op. Below Argument Opinion Vote Author Term
09-9000 5th Cir. Oct 13, 2010
Mar 7, 2011 6-3 Ginsburg OT 2010

Holding: Federal courts have subject matter jurisdiction over civil rights lawsuits, filed under Section 1983, that seek access to DNA evidence to challenge a state conviction.

Plain English Holding: Convicted inmates seeking access to DNA evidence to prove their innocence may do so by filing a federal civil rights lawsuit, rather than having to undertake the more difficult process of filing a petition for a writ of habeas corpus.

Judgment: Reversed, 6-3, in an opinion by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on March 7, 2011. Justice Thomas filed a dissent, which was joined by Justice Kennedy and Justice Alito.

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